We all know that spending quality time taking part in physical activity together is important for healthy growth and development. But everyone’s so busy these days! With so much going on, even when we do find some time to share we suddenly realise we haven’t thought about what we’d enjoy actually doing with it.
Let’s be honest: kids are generally overstimulated with TV, computers, video games, and fancy toys that get quickly forgotten. All that stuff leads to a sedentary lifestyle which, if learned early, can be challenging to change.
Maybe that’s part of the reason why not even one in five kids (16% of girls, 21% of boys) and barely half of adults in England meet the government’s physical activity guidelines.?
Strange, because kids only need a minimum of 60 minutes’ active play per day (2.5 hours per week for adults). The good news is you can help transform this trend forever. And you don’t need to make massive lifestyle changes or spend a ton of money to inspire lifelong positive habits while having a blast with your kids.
- Connections are cool
They grow up so fast… and before you know it, childhood’s just a series of memories. It’s not “cool” to hang out with mum and dad any more. But why? It could be. Active play helps form stronger bonds between parent and child because exercise releases endorphins – your brain’s happy juice.
Make it an early and regular habit to help your kids directly connect the idea of “hanging with the folks” and “feeling happy”. Not only will you help reinforce the benefits of enjoying a socially-connected lifestyle, but the positive memories you share and the feelings they inspire will last a lifetime, while encouraging children to form healthy relationships as they grow.
And even the surliest teen will agree: that’s pretty cool.
- Rest is refreshing
It’s no secret that kids have seemingly endless reserves of energy. So why is childhood obesity on the rise around the world? Because that energy has to go somewhere, and our tech-addled lives make it easy to bottle it in.
That same tech, combined with a general lack of physical activity and (maybe) a less-than-ideal diet, can really mess with our natural sleeping patterns. If your kids can’t sleep because they’re genuinely not tired… sorry mum and dad, but neither can you. And as you know all too well, tired people always experience more stress.
Active play amps up kids’ excitement in the moment, of course. That excitement (and those endorphins) provides natural, positive stress relief for everyone. Plus… well, they tire kids out, which is awesome. Get active! And enjoy a peaceful, all-inclusive family pass to Dreamland, every night.
You’ll all feel more rested, relaxed, and ready to have even more fun tomorrow.
- Skills are significant
Children are in a constant state of growth and change. Everything is new and they’re always learning. Society places heavy emphasis on intellectual development, which is obviously extremely important. But kids need to develop coordination, strength, motor skills, communication, and other aspects of a healthy human being.
They do this through play – or at least they used to. “Go climb a tree” probably doesn’t sound exciting enough to today’s kids to get them to put down the mobile for a moment. But kids definitely need to discover some things hands on, and “exercise” shouldn’t feel like a chore. When they’re having enough fun, they don’t even realise they’re learning and developing.
To help them nurture the minds and bodies they’ll need to grow into happy, healthy adults you’ll need to get extra creative.
Start today (the easy way)
“Climb a tree” sounds awesome to me! But we need to realise that today’s children live in a vastly different world than we did. Instead of vilifying technology, we need to embrace it – to use it wisely to help create kids’ activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle, good eating habits, and promote physical activity as part of everyday life.
Happily, you don’t have to do this on your own.
Every week, we’ll produce a brand-new video, featuring a unique kids’ game idea, designed specifically to encourage healthy habits and positive development.
These are always free to enjoy, the focus is always on fun, complete instructions are always included, and you can get set up in minutes using items you already have around the house.
Even better – if you’d like to be a part of The Active Hour community of parents, carers and teachers around the world (also free), you can even challenge another family to a cheerful competition.
You’ll meet new friends and lead by example, as your kids forget all about that videogame… and discover the thrill of active play. Have fun!